The Cross

Even from a distance of 2000 years and a decent set of personal anecdotes about the constancy of God, not everything Jesus did or did not do makes sense to me.

Which helps when my prayers get different answers than what I want.

Because I do not need a Savior who feels the need to do what I find logical or necessary.

I just need a Savior.

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A Letter to “Family,”

I was born into a traveling family. Growing up I struggled with issues of identity and loss. What was home? What was this nagging sense of displacement?

I remember traveling in Italy as a young child and looking for the face of my grandmother in the crowd–despite my knowledge that she was not there. There was no chance that my middle-aged grandmother had jetted off for a Roman holiday in the spring of 1977

I had family members who I loved who did and said and believed things I did not. I found their beliefs deeply painful. How could I love them but not their way of seeing the world?

I settled on loving them but not the faults in their world views, and uneasy, precarious compromise, and one I have not much improved upon in all the years since.I struggle with disappointment in the collective institution of “family,” just as I have with “church,” “friendship,” “community,” and “club.”

People fail each other in big and little ways all the time, but Jesus never does. He is this extraordinary voice for justice, for love, for honor, for hope. His family resemblance marks the best of us.

Jesus does not look like a white guy in a flowing robe. He does not look like any of the famous pictures we have of him.

What he looks like is Love. Love that protects. Love that shelters. Love that never fails.

And that kind of family resemblance is hard to miss…when we find it among us in this broken world.

Matthew 12:48-50

1 Corinthians 13

Thing One and Thing Two

Years after I first met M and C a little boy who I love more than the sky read The Cat and the Hat and expressed appropriate alarm over the treatment of Thing One and Thing Two–but they are children! He emoted.

Yes, Darling, there are many things about this story which trouble me also.

The first time I met M and C they burst through the door to the CPS waiting room. M was talking her usual mile-per-minute and both were whirling balls of energy. They went directly to the pastel plastic playhouse in the corner of the room and they reminded me of Thing One and Thing Two.

I wonder if anyone else wonders what happened to Thing One and Thing Two when they were all grown up?

2:25

Who knows how late it will be when I end this torrent of the lost, broken I can still see the expanding circle of dancers bobbing and curtsying on the first day of summer, longest day for you, beloved miracle, they have all been miracles slipped through my fingers as the recollection of the picture I gave away becomes distant

Fierce. Apocalyptic fierce.

Hard to pin down–lion or dragon?

Always was just

A way to remind me of

You

Writing with Invisible Ink

Now that I have seen the diamondback rattler in the domain of children I see him again everywhere–the darkness notched between sidings and foundations, lassoed water hoses resting in the sun, tree branches in the grass, all become the skin and flesh and memory of the foolish man who held just the severed head of his deadly foe too close to human skin.

We keep the most dangerous pets coiled in emptied potato salad containers, hastily labeled with words too awful to write down in anything but

Invisible ink.